I decided that the phrase I would use for this first project would be 'There's a bubble on baby's nose'. I chose the phrase thinking of my three infant nieces, who have many bubbles on their noses.
The first piece was meant to be a floating bubble, whose letters arrange themselves after touching its place in the sentence. I discovered that figuring out how to keep each of the text layers an equal distance from one another would be too much for as many keyframes as would be needed for a synchronized floating effect. I instead opted for the letters to disorganize and reform within the sentence. I had wanted a whimsical 'Oh, look at that! How cute!' sort of feeling, but I am not sure that I was successful in that.
The second piece was supposed to reflect a fun kind of disgust, with a wiping of the nose. The action was supposed to reflect the wiping of a snot bubble from a baby's nose, and missing a spot and going back for it. I am not holding out a lot of hope that people will get that based on the final product-- I think that I was a bit ambitious and didn't consider the finesse it would take to create a competent-looking wipe-like erasure of my text in After Effects. This also resulted in the video being short. There were many frames which would have lost their effect had the video been shorter. This is due to the clunkiness of the advance of the white objects-- I used them instead of a mask, which I could not figure out how to use the first time around. My thinking was to insert enough white objects so as to make the advance of the white look the way cleaning a dirty counter would-- in order to do what I did in a reasonable amount of time, I had to speed up the action.
I did learn a lot during this project, and am happy with the progress I've made with After Effects. There were two drafts I went through before this one and am looking forward to the next composition.